We awoke at what I thought was an early hour, but a check with the iPad said 8:30am. I probably slept a good 14 hours!
Upon breaking down camp, two cyclists rolled by and stopped to say hi. They had started their journey in southern Colorado and were only 20 miles from the end. They told us that they were charged by a mother grizzly bear who was protecting her cubs. Lucky for them mama didn’t execute the attack. She must have realized that a pair of bike weenies are no threat to even a young cub.
That or she really hated the bike bell and whistle they were using. I thought to myself that I wish we had brought bike bells too.
The ride today started off with a bang. We cruised around the remainder of the lake we camped by then dove into a thick forest for a mix of mild singletrack and jeep roads. The path led us over several bridges with views of flowing rivers and spiky, snow-covered peaks in the background.
The fun was short-lived however as we reconnected to the unpaved speedway from yesterday. After a few cars passed us leaving us gagging on dust, we briefly thought about putting bandanas over our mouths outlaw style. Look out! Here come the cyclists. They’ll take off with all our ice cream in a heartbeat.
Speaking of ice cream, we did get to indulge today. When we arrived at the campground, we had just finished riding about 45 miles in six hours. We knew there was a general store on site and figured they’d have some kind of frozen treat, but we weren’t prepared for an actual ice cream shack! They had several flavors to choose from and even waffle cones. Carrie and I did what we do best and enjoyed every creamy minute of it. Then we topped it off with some chocolate milk and potato chips.
Once satiated we made our way to our camp site. It was a pretty location but was swarming with mosquitos and other flying monstrosities. We had a choice, either put on lots of clothing on a warm summer day or break down and buy some bug repellent. When I saw a woman in a tank top sitting in her camp chair unmolested by insects I knew we needed the DEET. It’s nasty stuff but damnit if it doesn’t do it’s job well. Carrie counted 37 bites on her body in 24 hours. It was time to take action.
As we were preparing dinner (mmm, rehydrated pasta), the camp host stopped by to say hi and to give us the dollar he owed us as we didn’t have correct change when we self registered earlier. He told us about how important it was to keep our smelly foods safe from bears, and when I showed him our pathetic attempt at a bear hang, he suggested that we store our stuff in his gated wood shed. The area we’re in is prime grizzly bear habitat. Bears have been seen passing through the campground regularly this year, so he didn’t want us taking any chances. We obliged and thanked him for his help. The Canadians we’ve met so far have been kind and friendly. It’s that small town feeling we miss in Silicon Valley.